Canoe made of Hemp and Corn

It is touted as being made of hemp, corn, and fiberglass. But without even looking at the Mad River Malecite ECO canoe, I knew there was something wrong with the boat: Namely, it’s not for sale.

The South Carolina canoe maker decided to flex its “green” boat-making skills to create a super, Earth-friendly concept canoe made from mostly renewable resources. But it teases people with its existence.

Mad River Malecite ECO concept canoe

The concept canoe contains a layer of non-“green” fiberglass to make it stronger. There are a couple layers of hemp fabric to form the hull shape and provide more rigidity, according to the company. Another layer of fiberglass adds strength and prevents water absorption, and a low-VOC (volatile organic chemical), corn-based clear coat is a final touch.

The Malecite ECO is based on the design of the Malecite, the original canoe that launched the Mad River brand 1971. It is a versatile, shallow-vee flat-bottom canoe. The concept canoe has ash gunwales, seat frames and trusses. There are beech wood decks, cane seat panels, and recyclable stainless steel fasteners.

Cane seat panels add a classic touch

As if canoeing wasn’t “green” enough, Mad River just thought it would tease you with its non-production concept canoe. According to the company, it is available in a limited run of one canoe, and the price tag is $0. (“It’s not for sale, it’s for inspiration,” the company press release says.)

—Ryan Dionne

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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